Moore League baseball returned to Bohl Diamond at Blair Field for the first time in two years on Friday as Lakewood beat Jordan 29-2.
“This is awesome,” Lakewood coach Spud O’Neil said of coming back to Blair. “I had the kids walk the fence (before the game) and they were loving it. It’s really changed and is really beautiful in here. It’s pretty cool and we got everyone in the ball game so that was good.”
The score was more lopsided that usual because Jordan didn’t want to play the mercy run rule.
“We’re teaching baseball over here,” Jordan coach Bryan Whitfield said. “I’ve always said let’s just play seven innings. I’m not trying to quit a game in five innings. I’m just teaching (my team) to play seven innings.”
The Panthers (4-6, 1-4) kept competing throughout the game and scored two runs on the sixth inning on a double by Jaylen Channel.
“I love Jordan and their coaches over there,” O’Neil said. “They just battle.”
The Lakewood pitchers were the happiest Lancers to back back at Blair Field because of the immaculately manicured mound. Senior Wyatt Coats got the start and scattered two hits over three innings.
“I pitched here my freshman year against Jordan and got the save,” Coats said. “It felt good to be on the Blair mound again. It’s one of the best mounds I’ve pitched on. I feel like I have more (velocity) on Blair’s mound than anywhere else. Feels like we’re on a college field.”
Senior Braden Cordero came out of the bullpen to strike out five in two innings for Lakewood. He also had a 2-RBI triple and drove in four runs in four plate appearances.
“This was my first time (at Blair) but I was feeling good and wasn’t that nervous,” Cordero said. “It felt good on the mound. It’s a lot different even with the backstop more open. It really makes throwing strikes easier.”
Whitfield said he also took time before the game to talk to his team about playing at the historic park.
“It’s always an honor to play at Blair Field,” Whitfield said. “I’ve been playing here since 1988 as a Jordan grad. It doesn’t get any better than this. Who doesn’t want to watch a game here?”
A limited number of fans were allowed to be in the stands for this game after passing a COVID checkpoint at the gate. However, there won’t be any doubleheaders this year. The next Moore League game at Blair Field will be Wilson and Cabrillo next Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Lakewood scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a handful of free bases and RBI hits from Diego Gutierrez and Jered Stephenson. Consecutive doubles by Eric Yuriar and Blake Jones got the Lancers on the board again in the third inning. The wheels fell off for Jordan in the fifth inning when Lakewood scored 14 runs.
Every spot in the Lakewood lineup came around to score a run as all 20 Lancers reached base.
Lakewood now has its eyes set on playing at Millikan on Wednesday. The Lancers were happy to put their loss to Long Beach Poly in the rear view mirror. The Jackrabbits scored all eight of their runs in the same inning.
“We’re playing really well but you cannot have an inning like we did against Poly. The top three or four teams make the plays. We didn’t make the plays in that inning and it killed us.”
“We just have to put the ball in play and stop making mistakes,” Coats said.